Realm Runners

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: The Hold Falls

Megilwath snaps out of his meditation at Terrlen’s camp just outside of the Horned Hold. A sharp sting upon his left fore arm. When he turns his arm over he notices two little bite marks, as if bitten by a spider. He decides to wake The Maven to see what she can do about it. As she is examining it, it begins to swell and something dark and bulbous begins to wiggle under his skin. The Maven wakes the rest of the party and Megilwath hears something or some things crawling up the cliff face at the edge of their camp.

The spider-like mass under his skin begins to crawl up his arm. Megilwath quickly holds his upper arm to block the creatures path and calls Mentathenis over to him. Handing him his dagger, he tells the Eladrin to cut it out, and fast. Mentathenis complies and slices into the Drow’s arm, blood explodes outward splattering the both of them. No spider can be seen, as if whatever it was has disappeared.

Aces and Krushi turn to see five large, black widow-like spiders crest the edge of the crevace and scurry towards Megilwath. Aces manages to step in front of, and stop one, but the other four make their way to the Dark Elf, and begin snapping their fangs at him.

Krushi and Mentathenis blow them up quickly with their magical abilities causing each one to burst into a black smoke upon death. Then a much larger Spider crawls up over the edge towards the party, It steps over Aces, Krushi and the Maven to go face to face with the drow. Krushi notices that it doesn’t appear to be a normal spider, as it’s head is vaguely shaped like an elf’s but twisted and malformed with the features of an arachnid.

When it pulls its face right up to Megilwath’s he can see that doesn’t just resemble that of an an elf, but it is his own face. His arm begins to throb in pain as blood continues to gush out, slowly turning black and beading up until it has turned into a wave of tiny spiders being expelled from his body.

Megilwath snaps out of his meditation to the feeling of a sharp sting on his arm. When he turns it over he can see a tiny black widow sitting there staring at him over it’s recent bite. He decides to wake The Maven to see what she can do about it. he flicks the small spider off his arm and onto the ground, also interrupting Mentathenis’ meditation to tell him what is going on. Mentathenis locates the small spider and snatches it up with a mage hand. He examines it and comes to the conclusion that it is a natural spider, just before allowing the mage hand to crush it.

After sucking out the poison and being asked what he thinks his visions mean by The Maven, Megilwath determines that he will need to seek out answers from Trysta regarding his past at the party’s next convenience. They all agree, and head back towards the Horned Hold to finish the job.

Aces leads the party back to the double iron doors that they were unable to get through, and notices that the wooden shims they wedged under the doors were reduced to splinters and the doors had since been unlocked and were now slightly ajar.

They push through the doors to find a small alcove with two more sets of doors. The doors to the left they assume lead back into the slave pits and the doors ahead of them must be where Murkelmor is. Megilwath listens through the doors to hear some duergar voices arguing. Mentathenis uses ghost sound to impersonate one of the spined devils, Marshk. The duergar don’t fall for the trickery and form up for a fight. Aces crashes through the doors and sees a dwarf at the back of the room wielding a giant flaming maul and introduces himself as Rundarr, Duergar Champion. There are also two other duergar shock troopers and a duergar theurge. Murkelmor is nowhere in sight.

Aces heads for Rundarr as Megilwath and the Maven work together on the theurge. Krushi and Mentathenis are left behind to face down the two shock troopers who give them a particularly hard time until Megilwath and Aces move to help. Once the shock troopers and theurge are taken down, they all move in to focus on Rundarr. Megilwath attempts to get the duergar to surrender but to no avail.

Working hard to shake off her injuries from the other duergar, Krushi is able to muster the strength to stand tallish and look Rundarr in the eyes. Without blinking, and using her undeniable charisma and overpowering cuteness she says “You have fought well Rundarr, but I really think it’s time that you surrender.” Rundarr agrees with the Halfling as he is sorely out of practice, and thanks the party for an exhilarating fight, offering Aces his Flaming Maul +2 as such a worthy opponent. He informs them of Murkelmor’s abandoning of the Hold to retreat into the Underdark and then takes his leave.

The party investigates Murkelmor’s chambers and near his bed they find a small locked chest which Megilwath is able to pick open. Inside is an Amulet of Health +2 and around 261 gold.

Once they are sure that the Hold has been cleared, they return to Terrlen’s camp and pack up their stuff to head back to the Seven Pillared Hall.

On their way back to the Hall, the group runs across a band of gnolls, with a Barl’gura, and a small shackled goblin. The large demon rushes forward and slams Aces, Mentathenis drops his Stinking Cloud in the middle of the pack causing them to scatter. The gnoll scourge rushes through the party to attack Krushi. Megilwath and The Maven work together in unison to rip through the enemies and with Aces’s help manage to keep the gnolls getting poisoned by the deadly gas.

One gnoll manages to escape the carnage and disappears into the labyrinth, the goblin is able to remove his handcuffs and introduces himself as Modreg, a wandering explorer who was captured by the gnolls and being brought to the Well of Demons. Aces immediately takes a liking to the little guy and adopts him as her pet.

Then they all continue on back to the Hall.

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Trysta

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